Learn how to cut an avocado—no muss, no fuss, and no peeling either! Whether you’re slicing or dicing, this is the best method for cutting an avocado.
Avocados are always a treat, but they sure don’t make it easy to get to that creamy, buttery flesh inside! If you’ve mangled one too many avocados in the past (we’ve all been there, right?!), this tutorial will help you dice and slice with ease.
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Choosing and Storing Avocados
But first, let’s back up a bit! Cutting perfect avocado slices starts with the perfect avocado—and that means either choosing ripe avocados at the grocery store or storing unripe avocados properly so they fully ripen by the time you need them.
How to Know When an Avocado Is Ripe
If you’re making carne asada tacos for dinner and picking up an avocado on your way home from work, you need one that’s ripe now. A ripe Hass avocado:
- will have dark brown skin that feels pebbly to the touch (non-Hass varieties may still be green when ripe, but most grocery store avocados are Hass).
- has some give when you squeeze it; if you press a finger into it, it will leave a slight impression.
- should never feel mushy or have large sunken areas.
Ripe avocados should be eaten as soon as possible because they can go from ripe to over-ripe super fast. While you can refrigerate ripe avocados for a day or two, it’s not ideal. If you’re buying avocados and planning to use them later, always buy unripe fruit.
How to Store Unripe Avocados
There are two options for storing unripe avocados. If you’re not in a rush to ripen them, simply store them at room temperature in your kitchen. Check them daily for ripeness; it can take up to a week for an unripe avocado to ripen, so don’t panic if it takes a while!
Need to speed up the process? Then you’ll want to store your avocado in a brown paper bag. This traps ethylene gas, which hastens ripening. You can add a banana or an apple for even more ethylene and faster ripening.
How to Cut an Avocado Like a Pro
Now that you’ve got a ripe avocado that’s ready to eat, you can start cutting! Grab a sharp paring knife and follow the steps below.
- Remove the stem – If there’s a woody stem on the top of the avocado, pull or twist it off. You’ll be cutting through the top of the avocado and the stem will get in the way.
- Cut the avocado in half – Hold the avocado in your non-dominant hand. With the paring knife in the other hand, very carefully cut the fruit in half lengthwise around the pit; insert the knife until it reaches the pit, then run the blade all the way around the avocado. Work slowly and make sure you’re not distracted—you don’t want to cut yourself!
- Remove the pit – Hold one half of the avocado in each hand, then twist and pull the two halves apart. Place the avocado halves on a cutting board and grab a large chef’s knife. Nestle the half with the pit in a kitchen towel to help keep it from slipping on the cutting board. Place the heel of the knife over the center of the pit, as if you were going to slice into it. Lift the knife a few inches and give it a firm tap until it’s embedded in the top of the pit; twist the knife to loosen the pit, then pull it out and discard it. (Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to give the knife a big whack to get the pit out; use just enough force to get the job done.) Use your thumb to push the pit off of the blade.
- Slice the avocado – Use a paring knife to cut the avocado into slices, being careful not to pierce the skin. (If you’ve ever cut a mango before, it’s the same idea here!) Don’t cut the slices too thin, or they’re likely to fall apart.
- Or dice the avocado – To dice the avocado, cut it into slices as described above, then turn the fruit and make cross-wide cuts; the flesh will have square score marks.
- Scoop the flesh – Use a spoon that’s roughly the width of the avocado—a serving spoon works well—to gently scoop out the sliced or diced avocado flesh. Insert the tip of the spoon right where the skin meets the flesh and push it into the fruit as close to the skin as possible so you get all of the flesh out in one scoop.
If you’re using the avocado for smoothies, avocado mayo, or guacamole, you can skip the slicing and dicing and move right onto the scooping.
How to Store
You know how cut avocados turn an unappetizing shade of brown? That’s oxidation. There are a lot of tricks and kitchen products to keep avocados bright and green, but all you really need is some lemon or lime juice.
The acid in the juice will prevent oxidation—or at least slow down the process. Squeeze lemon or lime juice over the avocado pieces and gently toss to coat. Refrigerate the cut avocados in an airtight container for about a day.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some people like to peel avocados and then cut them, but I’m not a fan of this method. It often leaves fingerprints and gashes in the flesh, and the slippery avocado is more difficult to cut once the skin has been removed.
When stored in the refrigerator and tossed in lime or lemon juice, a cut avocado will last a day or two in the refrigerator.
Yes! The brown color isn’t mold or spoilage, it’s simply oxidation. Brown avocados don’t taste as good as fresh green avocados, but you won’t get sick from eating them.
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How to Cut an Avocado
- 1 avocado ripe
- If there’s a woody stem on the top of the avocado, pull or twist it off.
- Hold the avocado in your non-dominant hand. With the paring knife in the other hand, very carefully cut the fruit in half lengthwise around the pit; insert the knife until it reaches the pit, then run the blade all the way around the avocado.
- Hold one half of the avocado in each hand; twist and pull the two halves apart. Place the avocado halves on a cutting board and set the half with the pit in a kitchen towel to help keep it from slipping on the board.
- Place the heel of a chef's knife over the center of the pit, as if you were going to slice into it. Lift the knife a few inches and give it a firm tap until it’s embedded in the top of the pit. Twist the knife to loosen the pit, then pull it out and discard it. Use your thumb to push the pit off of the blade.
- Use the paring knife to cut the avocado into long slices, being careful not to cut through the skin.
- To dice the avocado, cut it into slices as described above, then turn the fruit and make cross-wide cuts.
- Use a spoon that’s roughly the width of the avocado to gently scoop out the sliced or diced flesh. Insert the tip of the spoon where the skin meets the flesh and push it into the fruit as close to the skin as possible.
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